Gurbani Word Of The Day: chaňdan

ਚੰਦਨੁ (chaňdan)
Meaning: noun: Sandalwood tree, a widely cultivated Indian tree, which yields fragrant timber and oil.

ਕਬੀਰ ਚੰਦਨ ਕਾ ਬਿਰਵਾ ਭਲਾ   ਬੇੜਿਓ ਢਾਕ ਪਲਾਸ॥ ਓਇ ਭੀ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੇ   ਬਸੇ ਜੁ ਚੰਦਨ ਪਾਸਿ॥
kabeer chaňdan kaa birvaa bhalaa beṛhio ḍhaak palaas.
oi bhee chaňdan hoi rahe   base ju chaňdan paas.
Kabir! The sandalwood tree, even though surrounded by weeds, is very sublime (pleasant and sweet smelling). Those who dwell near the sandalwood tree, become just like the sandalwood tree. – Bhagat Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib, 1365

Message: Imagine the distinctive soft, smooth, warm and milky wood scent when you use sandalwood oil, paste or incense.

Where does this sandalwood come from? It comes from sandalwood trees, which are small plants, sometimes surrounded by weeds. Bhagat Kabir is in praise of the sandalwood tree as he feels it is the most sublime of plants due to its fragrance. Even though it’s surrounded by wild grass and plants, yet it remains sweetly scented. The plants which grow in its vicinity also become fragrant.

The verse reinforces the fact that some people who are simple and humble, could be full of virtues. Those who come in contact with them can also become virtuous if they emulate their qualities.

Evolved people do not keep their goodness to themselves but share their virtues with others. We should be in close proximity to such ones and attempt to learn from them to guide us and cleanse our minds of all the vices.

ਭਾਰ ਅਠਾਰਹ ਮਹਿ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਊਤਮ   ਚੰਦਨ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਸਭ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਹੁਈਆ॥
Amongst all plants, the sandalwood tree is the most sublime, because everything growing near the sandalwood tree becomes fragrant like sandalwood. – Guru Ram Das, Guru Granth Sahib, 834

Etymology: From Sanskrit chandan (sandalwood) → Pali chandan (sandal tree, sandalwood).


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